Sony Portable MP3 Player
Well, I guess I should have known better.
The $119 Sony 2gb USB-drive style player, model NW-E005F, is nothing more than an inkjet printer.
An inkjet printer is a doorstop waiting to happen. For somewhere in the range of $40 to what I'd call "way too expensive" ($100+), you can buy an inkjet printer. The come in a glossy, high-res box with images of: the impressive device, the multitude of functions, the possible outcome of using the printer, and lots of boring small text. Included no-where on the box, however, is the asterisk, dagger, or footnote number which explains the true catch of the device. The cartridges cost more than the printer, and this is the true paydirt for the printer-manufacturers.
And now, back to my device.
While it is, apparently, a usb-drive-like device, it does not function without a software package called 'sonicstage' (read: itunes), which, yet further, is linked to an online music purchase service called 'connect', and yet further to a CDDB service called 'Harmony'. Now, all these associations would seem quite innocent if it were not for the fact that without screwing with the here's-your-user-interface in sonicstage, you cannot play anything with your fancy 2GB player at all.
So, you're locked into their format, because the player does not use a windows file structure, and you cannot simply copy files onto it (say, with file explorer) and play them.
Furthermore, if you want the 5 'free' tracks that come with the device you have to divulge your credit card number, and if you'd also like the loving help of the non-standard, non-free 'CDDB' 'service', you have to register for that, too.
And, last but not least insulting, if you do not register your 'atrac' device, you can only copy files onto it from one location.
Please, dog, tell me someone has hacked these things and I can dump all this crap and just use the damn device.
Clearly, the $119 price was subsidized by all kinds of different businesses all hoping to cash in on the intrepid, new-to-all-this, >sucker<.
And, as the old saying goes: you get what you pay for, and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
I will give it this- at least once you are all done futzing with it, it actually works, and pretty well. Still. The level of BS is completely unforgivable.
When you go bankrupt from putting everything you were worth into the Playstation 3 blu-ray technology and then failing in the console market because Microsoft made their HDDVD player optional, I'll have to say at least a muffled "Ha ha", while, as you got my money out of me on more than one occasion, this is to be the last.